carpenter ant


: an ant (especially genus Camponotus) that gnaws galleries especially in dead or decaying wood

Illustration of carpenter ant

Illustration of carpenter ant

Examples of carpenter ant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web My home was the Summit Lake Ranger Station, a log cabin built in 1927 and slowly being carried away by carpenter ants. Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 For example, carpenter ants require a moist environment to build their colony, while fire ants usually set up mound nests outside. Anna Halkidis, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 July 2023 Having wood or soil piled against siding invites an infestation of carpenter ants or termites. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 30 June 2023 After designing a miniature dueling arena—a plate with plastic dividers—the scientists chemically manipulated the odorant receptors of Florida carpenter ants from the same and neighboring colonies, either blocking or overexciting the receptors. Jillian Kramer, Scientific American, 1 May 2020 Robin's famous cinnamon raisin bread to beef tartare tucked under watercress and carpenter ant sauce, homemade ricotta served warm and speckled with black pepper, oysters wrapped in cabbage, slow-roasted duck over an open wood fire, and more. Sophie Dodd, Travel + Leisure, 8 Feb. 2022 The idea to photograph a carpenter ant — a species that chews through wood to engineer tunnels for its nests — came by looking at the little bugs crawling in the trees in the forest near his home in Tauragė, Lithuania. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2022 Like all ants, carpenter ant colonies start with scout ants that forage your home for the best places to eat or hang out. Brie Dyas, Country Living, 3 July 2022 Termite and carpenter ant colonies should be treated by professional exterminators. oregonlive, 10 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carpenter ant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of carpenter ant was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near carpenter ant

Cite this Entry

“Carpenter ant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

carpenter ant

: any of several ants that nest and gnaw passageways in dead or decaying wood

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